How to Install a Simple Machines Discussion Forum (SMF) on Linux
Updated by Elle Krout
Simple Machines Forum (SMF) is a popular forum solution for small- to large-sized communities that offers a variety of features. With its modular design and flexibility, users can create their own plugins to modify the behavior of SMF in any way they wish.
This guide is written for a non-root user. Commands that require elevated privileges are prefixed with
sudo. If you’re not familiar with the
sudocommand, you can check our Users and Groups guide.
You will need to create a MySQL user and database for SMF.
Login to the MySQL server as root:
mysql -u root -p
Create a user and database, with
forumsbeing the database name,
forumadminbeing the username, and taking care to change the
passwordin the example below:
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create databate forums; grant all on forums.* to 'forumadmin' identified by 'password'; quit
The following instructions will download the latest stable release, which is 2.0.9 as of publication.
If you’re using a web server other than Apache, or otherwise have an alternate system user for your web server, be sure to replace
www-datain the commands below with the appropriate system user.
Navigate to the document root (typically similar to
/var/www/example.com/public_html) and create a directory for the forums:
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sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www sudo -u www-data mkdir forums cd forums/
If you would like to install SMF to your website’s homepage, install it in the document root. If you would like the URL to be something other than
/forumsamend the above instructions as necessary.
Download and extract the package:
sudo -u www-data wget http://download.simplemachines.org/index.php/latest/install -O smf_latest_install.tar.gz sudo -u www-data tar -zxvf smf_latest_install.tar.gz
Follow the instructions on the web interface to finish the installation; then, in your terminal, remove the installation script:
sudo rm install.php
Your SMF installation is now complete! In order to maintain the integrity of your system, please update your forums as needed.
You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.
This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.